Michel Sapin said 'nobody was ready' for last June's UK referendum result in favour of the country leaving the European Union, and described the British government's threat that it might use lowered corporation tax as a bargaining card in negotiations over a Brexit deal as demonstrating 'how helpless the British government is'.
A bill of law on “transparency, anti-corruption and modernization of economic life” introduces for the first time in France a legal definition and protection of whistleblowers and a provision that companies will have to declare their tax position in countries where they or their subsidiaries operate. But for some MPs and transparency activists, the fine detail of this ambitious law makes it a lost opportunity. Dan Israel reports.
The French government’s labour law reform bill, now being debated in the Senate, has prompted fierce opposition from several trades unions, massive demonstrations across the country, and a deep political and social crisis. Opinion polls show a majority of the population are opposed to the bill, which reduces current protection for employees with measures that include easing conditions for firing staff and placing a ceiling on compensation sums awarded by industrial tribunals. But the government is adamant it will not negotiate the bill's contents. Martine Orange investigates the reasons for its unusual intransigence, and discovers evidence that the most controversial texts of the bill were demanded by European Union economic liberals.